Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I see bird of paradise

'Misunderstood' by Man Ray (1890-1976)
Collection of Man Ray Estate

Dadaist artist Man Ray gives the Bird of Paradise flower an eye over a desolate landscape, making a cheeky comment on the previous generation of Cubist painters. Below, a fragment from the invitation card to his exhibition in Paris in December 1921.Une Bonne Nouvelle, Cher Ami,Vous etes invite au vernissage de l'exposition Man Ray (charmant garcon)...sous La Presidence du Movement Dada... Strelitzia reginae, Bird of Paradise
The Bird of Paradise has a flush of flowers in early winter which brightens the garden considerably on rainy cold days. It is a popular landscaping plant originally from South Africa which has low water requirements and is generally quite hardy. The only problems encountered in growing it come from scale insects which sometime appear on the backs of leaves and stems during very dry weather . The leaves will often turn yellow and develop dead patches as a result.An oil based product is the best thing to spray the leaves with. The species S parvifolia juncea ,is a rush like variety which is also worth growing for its stark architectural form. It grows into a dense cluster of spikey tufts up to 1.5 metres tall with similar flowers to S reginae.

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